Interview with Matthew James Hunt

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
For me, to date, there aren't that many. Hah! But there are some. Chief among them has to be the almost (I think actual) spiritual ecstasy when an intractable 'problem' in the story turns out to have been an opportunity to find a solution far superior to what might have been. It's the discovery of a piece of the story that was always meant to be, and seems so right and perfect and comprehensively beautiful that I dare not believe it could have come from me alone. That is a real thrill.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Having to put the kettle on, so my partner can get to work on time and earn my whiskey allowance.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
To be honest, because times are hard, trawling through the cheapest ones first. I've found some very fresh and original ones that way.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Ha ha. Yes. In school. A sweet attempt at horror. Something about being passed a piece of paper bearing an ancient and indecipherable curse, which caused dreadfulness I can't remember. I must have been thirteen. I actually did that cheesy thing where the last page is turned and there, glued to the page, is the paper with the curse, and the final words, 'And now, dear reader, it has passed to you.' I cringe now, but the teacher loved it anyway.
What is your writing process?
Thus far: an idea for an intriguing situation. Why is it happening? Who are these people? What's the back story? Where could it go? What does it MEAN?
Then, if there's potential, write fast and loose.
Then rewrite, rewrite, rewrite...
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
It would have to be a Peter and Jane children's book. It had little impact. I thought it bewilderingly dull and pointless. I don't think I cared for the characters. I wondered why this boring couple had books written about them.
Describe your desk
My lap, me slouched in my armchair with my legs resting on a stool. Also the carpet - I do a lot of pacing and talking to myself. Then, if the going is really tough, pacing all over a hill in the park round the corner - trying to avoid other people, so I can talk things over without getting put in an institution.
What's the story behind your latest book?
A dream of an odd stand-off between two lovely people I used to work with. And a concurrent desire to understand the causes and nature of 'terrorism'.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
My suspicion that the conventional route to publication might be a means to control what gets out there, and so a choke on free thought and the exchange of ideas.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
It's opened up the rest of the world.
How do you approach cover design?
A collaboration between my artist/designer partner and myself. Trying different things. Trying not to ape the mainstream. Trying to end up with something meaningful, attractive, original, eye-catching, and hopefully with something approaching a professional finish.
Published 2015-03-18.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.